Hot right now: BioCeuticals' CBD research, DSM's 'blue sky' upgrades, and infant formula worries among our top social media stories

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Hot right now: BioCeuticals' CBD research, DSM's 'blue sky' upgrades, and infant formula worries among our top social media stories

Related tags Cbd Infant formula Agriculture Bacteria

BioCeuticals' heavy investment in medical cannabis research, DSM China's sustainability efforts, and Sattvaponics' agricultural innovations feature alongside news on dietary supplement and infant formula contaminant in our five most read stories on social media in the past month.

BioCeuticals invests $500K in medicinal cannabis trial while pushing for greater industry opportunity

Blackmores' practitioner-only firm BioCeuticals is investing heavily in medicinal cannabis research​, recently announcing its $500,000-plus funding of the world's first clinical trial to investigate its effects on brain tumours and the symptoms common in patients.

The phase 2 RCT has already received ethics approval from the NSW Ministry of Health and the University of Technology Sydney, and will be led by Dr Janet Schloss from Endeavour College of Natural Health, together with renowned neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo.

The trial will seek to determine if orally ingested medicinal cannabis is safe for patients suffering from Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly aggressive type of primary brain tumour, as well as whether it can slow tumour growth when used in conjunction with standard cancer treatments.

'Precision agriculture for nutraceutical industry': Indian start-up details ambitious plans to raise standards

Indian agri-tech start-up Sattvaponics Solutions has outlined its ambition to be a game-changer in the nutraceutical industry​, spurred in part by a recent investment from the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).The technology business incubator of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) invested an undisclosed amount in the start-up after the latter participated in the Economic Times Power of Ideas programme, of which the IIMA is a partner organiser.

Sattvaponics emerged as one of the winners after an intensive six-month programme, securing funding from the CIIE as a result.

'Blue sky' upgrades: DSM China to power vitamin C plant with natural gas within three years

Royal DSM has reopened its Jiangshan vitamin C plant after extensive upgrades​, and has signed an agreement with local authorities to transition from coal to natural gas power within three years.

Executives at the company say the move will halve the DSM plant's current carbon footprint. 

Since acquiring the Jiangshan site from Aland in March 2015, the global ingredients major has spent the past two years upgrading the plant, automating much of production to drive up quality, improving worker safety and upgrading waste water treatment facilities, among other things. In July, this year, it shut down the plant for four months to complete upgrades​.

Liver fears: NZ health ministry issues further warning over supplement ingredient

The director general of New Zealand's Ministry of Health has issued yet another public warning​ about supplements containing Artemisia annua extract, after 11 more reports of liver complications from consuming such products surfaced.

These 11 reports followed the 14 that had come up earlier this year, which triggered the initial alert in February.

Most of these complaints — handled by the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) — were linked to the use of Arthrem, a 'natural joint support formula' in soft gel format by NZX-listed firm Promisia, featuring Artemisia annua ​extract as its key ingredient.

Prevalence of bacterial contamination of infant formula in China warrants further research

The prevalence of Bacillus cereus​ in infant and follow-up formula in China​ may warrant further research so criteria can be developed for risk assessment and quality control, say Chinese researchers.

Outbreaks and sporadic cases of food-borne diseases caused by B. cereus ​have been reported in China among both adults and children, though the prevalence of this bacterial contamination in food is not fully understood.

At the moment, China has no legal microbiological criteria for B. cereus​ in powdered infant and follow-up formula.

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